By Chad Koenen
New decorative lighting will be coming to the downtown Henning area in 2024.
During its regularly scheduled meeting last week, the Henning City Council moved forward with a plan to install new decorative street lighting as part of the 2024 Highway 108 project. While the city council had already expressed an interest in installing a new cohesive decorative lighting as part of the expansive highway project, recent price increases had engineers coming back to the council to ensure it wanted to proceed as originally planned.
For example, the cost of installing new decorative lighting was now estimated at $500,000, which was a $50,000 increase from just a few months ago. If the city did not purchase new lighting it would need to refurbish and install many of the same lights it already has in place. The cost for doing that would be $400,000, which has also increased in recent months.
While several city council members said the increase in cost was a concern, they expressed a desire for a more cohesive look to go along with the Highway 108 project. The old poles that will be taken down can also be used in future projects, which could lead to a cost savings down the road.
The council moved forward with the plan to install decorative lighting as part of the project.
In other news
• Approved a liquor license and gambling license for The Farmstand in Henning. The new restaurant will be located in the former JoJo’s Cafe in downtown Henning.
• Approved a building permit for the new convenience store that will be located on the former Denny’s Food N Sport and Pete’s Amoco location.
• Approved a 5-year mutual aid fire agreement between local fire departments. The agreement was similar to what has been approved in the past for the fire departments who assist one another. All of the fire departments in the county have the same agreement with one another.
• Heard the city is waiting on transformers for the new Pro Ag building and new convenience store that are being constructed in Henning. The items were ordered approximately a year ago and they could arrive anytime between this week and late fall.
• Heard from Henning Ambulance Service Director Chelsea Waskosky about a Centers for Medicare/Medicaid ground ambulance data collection survey the department recently completed. The 52-page survey covered a wide variety of information about the department and Waskosky said the Henning department was one of thousands of ambulance services selected for the survey nationwide.
• Approved a change in the meal price that was recently recommended for approval by the Willow Creek Commission. The council recently increased meal prices at Willow Creek to $10 per meal per the Willow Creek Commission recommendation, but this month the commission asked that the meal price be set at $8.25 per meal.
• Discussed the pros and cons of hiring a part-time maintenance person at Willow Creek. The maintenance work had been absorbed by city utility workers in recent years as part of budget cuts within the city. The city council and Willow Creek Commission will explore the possibility of what the position could look like in the future.
• Discussed a proposed easement for a slice of city-owned land at 100 Poulson Ave. A property owner near the area was seeking an easement to continue using the city property to access a shed, but it was recently determined the land used for a driveway was owned by the city. The council briefly discussed whether to grant the easement or sell the property, before ultimately deciding to not grant an easement or sell the property.